Review: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

A Brush of Darkness
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Series: Abby Sinclair (# 1)
Release Date:  January 25, 2011
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Page Count:  368 pages
Source:  ebook provided by the publisher

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Review:  A Brush of Darkness has it all:  paranormal, shape-shifting, ghouls, angels, incubus, unicorns, romance, heat, humor, suspense and an uncanny ability to draw the reader into its clutches and hold tight until the end.

While I admit that in the beginning I felt as though I missed something within the story (I actually had to double check a couple of times to be sure that this was, indeed, the first in the series) I loved the storyline, the premise of the story and the characters.  Abby is a fairly new human Touchstone to the beloved Faery Protectorate, Moira, who has been missing for a couple of months now, a fact that only Abby is aware of. While things are not going perfectly, they are going fairly well – that is until the hotter than hot incubus, Brystion, shows up claiming that he needs help to find his sister who has disappeared.  To make matters more complicating, Brystion unwittingly makes Abby his Touchstone, connecting them in a way that will not be looked upon favorably.  Needless to say, the fact that Moira has been missing, quickly becomes known and sends everyone on a desperate search for her.  It doesn’t take long for Abby to also realize that the disappearance of Brytion’s sister is in some way connected and that if she doesn’t help him find her, and quickly, many lives may be lost – including her own.

In the beginning of my review, I had mentioned that I had the feeling that I missed something along the way.  The reason that I felt this way is that the story begins with Abby as a Touchstone, without reason as to how or why she became such.  This was a bit awkward for me, however as the story progresses, these issues are explained and everything comes together.  Other than this issue, I loved the rather uniqueness of the story, the parallels of the different worldly realms between the crossroads and the connection of humans with these OtherWorldly beings.  The story basically brings to life all the different mythical creatures that we have heard about and brings readers into their world where they co-exist with one another – as well as with humans (though most humans are completely unsuspecting).  A Brush of Darkness is an excellent story in the Urban Fantasy genre with characters that I truly loved.

Abby has demons of her own that she has been trying to fight, without much success.  Her demons are very “human” and make her a very likable character.  She is incredibly intelligent, strong and rather sassy.  I loved her personality through and through.  Brystion is incredibly sexy, ornery, lovable and has a vulnerable side that he hides very well.  Together, they are combustible and had me yearning for them to be together the entire time.

There are several other characters also within the story that play very important parts.  Even with the large cast, I never found myself lost or confused and was drawn to the way Allison Pang gave each character their own distinct personality and traits that made them easy to connect with.  Even some of the bad guys had endearing qualities.

As for the story, itself, I felt that it flowed very well.  The transitions between realms and scenes were smooth and worked in a way that made me want to keep reading, rather than wanting to ever step back from the story.  When I wasn’t able to read, I found myself yearning to get back to the story to see what was going to happen next.  I have the second in the series: A Sliver of Shadow waiting for me and I am incredibly excited to dive back into Abby’s world to see what trouble awaits her once again.  For readers of Urban Fantasy and authors such as Richelle Mead (with her Succubus series), this series by Allison Pang will delight!

Favorite Quote:  Balance slowly regained, I glanced up at him, and slid my hands into my pockets to hide my trembling fingers.  “What the hell was that?”
Surprise flickered across his face, quickly replaced by something a bit more appraising.  “I don’t know,” he said finally.  “It wasn’t suppose to happen.”
His gaze lingered on me, somehow managing to be impudent and measured at the same time, but the overconfident cockiness was gone.
“Wow.  I find myself strangely not reassured by that.”  I crossed my arms, hunching my back protectively. I was Moira’s Touchstone, by God, marked by a sacred OtherFolk bond that should be beyond contestation and this asshat had just violated every precept that I was aware of.
I was outraged.
I was lived, even.
I was hopelessly out of my league.

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